Every winter, people all over the world break out their snowmobiles and hit the trails. If you’re new to snowmobiling, or just need a refresher on snowmobile safety tips, we’ve got you covered!
Here are our top 17 snowmobiling safety tips to help you enjoy a safe and fun season on your sled!
Our Top 17 Snowmobile Safety Tips
1. Wear protective gear, including a helmet and snow goggles
It’s important to wear protective gear while snowmobiling because it can help prevent serious injury in the event of a crash. A good helmet can protect your head in a crash, and snow goggles will keep your eyes safe from the wind and snow if you like using an open-face helmet without a face shield. We like a good full-face helmet for overall protection.
2. Get trained and stay current on snowmobile safety
Before you hit the trails, it’s important to get trained on how to operate your snowmobile safely. Once you’ve got the hang of things, it’s important to stay up-to-date on safety procedures. The best way to do this is by taking a snowmobile safety course offered by your local snowmobile club or association.
3. Check the snowmobile’s brakes, cables, and fuel lines before hitting the trails
It’s important to check your snowmobile’s brakes, cables, and fuel lines before hitting the trails because they can help prevent serious accidents. If your snowmobile’s brakes are malfunctioning, for example, you could easily lose control while riding. Faulty fuel lines could also cause your snowmobile to lose power or even start a fire. And if your fuel lines are leaking, you could end up with a dangerous gas leak. Make sure to inspect all of these components before snowmobiling to ensure a safe ride.
4. Dress for success (warmth)
One of the most important aspects of snowmobiling safely is dressing for the weather with proper clothing. This means wearing warm and layered clothing that can wick moisture and will protect you from the cold and keep you dry in case it’s snowing. There are a variety of heated clothing options now as well such as heated vests, heated jackets and heated gloves. It’s also important to wear reflective gear so that other snowmobilers can see you, especially if you’re riding at night. A good snowmobile suit usually covers all of these!
5. Know before you go
Before heading out onto the trails, it’s important to know what kind of terrain you’ll be encountering. This will help you plan appropriately and prepare you and your snowmobile for the conditions. It’s also important to check the weather forecast so that you know what to expect while you’re out riding. Whiteout conditions can be a real challenge!
6. Always ride with a buddy (or two)
One of the best ways to stay safe while snowmobiling is to ride with a buddy (or two). This way, if something happens to one of you, there’s someone there to help. It’s also a good idea to let someone else know where you’re going and when you plan on being back, just in case they need to come looking for you.
7. Don’t drink and ride
Just like driving a car, it’s never a good idea to drink and ride a snowmobile. Alcohol impairs your judgment and reactions, which can lead to accidents or injuries. If you’re going to be drinking, make sure someone else is designated as the sober driver.
8. Stay on marked trails
When riding your snowmobile, always stay on marked trails. Not only is this safer, but it also helps prevent damage to delicate ecosystems and people’s own personal property. If there are no marked trails available, be sure to stick to areas that have already been packed down by other riders.
9. Watch for obstacles
Though many people think of open expanses of snowy fields when they envision snowmobiling, in reality, there are often plenty of obstacles present, such as tree stumps, rocks, stumps, and bushes. Keep an eye out for these obstacles and adjust your speed accordingly. Hitting one at high speed could cause serious injury or damage to your sled.
10. Control your speed
In addition to watching out for obstacles, it’s important to control your speed so that you don’t lose control of your sled or put yourself in danger When going around corners, use caution and go at a safe speed. Remember: it’s always better to arrive alive than not at all!
11. Be aware of avalanche danger areas
If you’re planning on doing any off-trail riding, be aware of areas that are susceptible to avalanches and take steps to avoid them. This includes staying away from steep slopes, avoiding jumps near avalanche paths, and making noise as you ride so that any loose snow has time to settle before reaching where you are.
12 . Take a first–aid course (and bring a first–aid kit )
Accidents happen, even when we’re being careful. That’s why it’s always a good idea to take a first–aid course so that you know what steps to take in case someone is injured while snowmobiling. It’s also a good idea to bring a first–aid kit with you on the trail just in case.
13. Carry a cell phone with a full battery in case of an emergency
Having a fully charged cell phone with you while snowmobiling is essential in case of an emergency. Make sure your phone is always in an easily accessible place so that if something happens, you can easily make a call for help. It’s also important to let someone know where you’re headed and what time you plan on returning, just in case they need to come and search for you.
14. Know the local snowmobile laws and abide by them
Before snowmobiling, make sure that you’re familiar with the snowmobile laws in your area. Different states and countries have different regulations that you need to be aware of before hitting the trails. Abiding by the local laws will help ensure a safe and enjoyable snowmobiling experience for everyone. This will help you stay within the boundaries of legality while snowmobiling.
15. Use Hand Signals
Using hand signals when snowmobiling is extremely helpful to everyone involved. It is helpful to your own group that you are with to let people behind you know if you are planning on stopping or if there is an obstacle in the way they need to avoid. It is also helpful to let them know which way you intend to turn.
Hand signals are also very helpful with oncoming snowmobiles. Putting your left arm up and letting the oncoming group know the number of people behind you is so helpful to prevent head-on collisions. If the oncoming rider knows there are four more people coming down the trail, they are more alert and most likely slow their speeds.
16. Stay off Frozen bodies of water unless they are marked and you know they are completely safe and frozen
An iced-over lake can be very fun to explore. It also turns into a drag strip for a lot of riders so you need to be careful. Make sure you know what the ice thickness is and if it’s safe to ride on. Also, make sure to follow the marked signs and stay on course. An iced-over lake can turn into riders going all over the place and increases your chances of an accident. Also, be aware of any snow drifts which can cause you to go airborne if you hit them at high speeds!
17. Take it slow
It’s easy to get caught up in the snowmobiling high and forget that snowmobiling is a dangerous sport. Slow down and take your time, especially if you are new to snowmobiling or on a trail with other riders. Doing so will help ensure your safety as well as the safety of others around you.
Snowmobiling is a fun and exhilarating winter sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. However, it is important to remember that snowmobiling can also be dangerous if proper safety precautions are not taken. You must also make sure you have proper insurance coverage for your sled as well.
In this article, we have shared some key snowmobile safety tips that will help ensure a safe and enjoyable snowmobiling experience this winter season.
Following these important snowmobile safety tips while riding will help ensure that everyone has an enjoyable and safe snowmobiling experience. So suit up, fire up your sled, and hit those trails! But most importantly, always remember to put safety first!
Remember to wear layers, stay alert, and respect private property signs—and most importantly, don’t drink and ride! Happy trails!
For more information, check out your local snowmobile club and see if they offer a snowmobile safety course.